Prospective Graduate Students

Join us and help to reinvent the field in the U.S.

The University of Alabama’s Master of Arts (MA) in Religion in Culture is, if pursued full-time, a two-year course of study (36 credit hours) that equips students in the study of religion with cross-disciplinary expertise in social theory as well as digital humanities tools, preparing them either for further graduate work in the academic study of religion (and related fields) or for the growing number of careers in which the combination of analytic tools and digital skills are seen as an asset.

Students gain experience working closely with a faculty mentor to produce original research, assist in undergraduate classes, and submit their own work for possible publication, while also learning about the practical needs and future shape of the profession.

In consultation with a faculty advisor, students can opt for one of the following:

  • a defended thesis, as the culminating project (defined as a piece of original research that is potentially publishable as the student’s own academic article)
  • the comprehensive exam route, which can entail either a set of exams in their last semester; or, as we recommend,
  • participation in the already require REL 590 Capstone Graduate Seminar — this latter route can still result in an original seminar paper that the student presents to faculty and students.

For a detailed list of degree requirements, visit the UA Graduate Catalog, or see our graduate program overview.

Program Foundations

Students earning MA degrees in the study of religion at the University of Alabama will set themselves apart nationally by means of our program’s dual focus on using cross-disciplinary social theory as well as practical digital skills, to create and pursue novel and original research projects that are aimed at a wide variety of readers, within and beyond the university.


Our department and its faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized experts who are helping to reinvent the study of religion and are eager to work closely with MA students on a wide variety of topics. If your interests and goals overlap with our expertise, then we hope you’ll consider applying and coming to UA.

Learn More

For more information, contact Dr. Vaia Touna, director of graduate studies, at, or visit the following links: